So I know that factions and pop ethics dont have the greatest influence in the game (but influence and some happiness and therefor stability), but it just drives me mad when spiritualists pop up in my materialist empire, or a xenophobe factions emerges in my fanatic xenophile megacorp. And at the moment they literally are not controllable. Even when you go for Spiritualist Ascension and get the Divine Colossus and shine all your planets and make use of temple and edicts to boost spiritualist attraction, you will constantly get new factions and constantly new ethics in your pops. And since stellaris lives from the roleplay perspective, I feel like a way to properly manage this is needed.
So my idea how to fix it:
Do it like in hearts of iron 4. You dont want those 15% fascism in your democratic state? Pay some political power to ban fascism and live with the drop in stability that comes with forcing all fascists to stop being fascist.
How this could look in Stellaris:
We have 8 different ethics, each one with its possible faction (Xenophobe has two factions though, but practically this does not matter). Every pop starts with a specific ethic and has a chance to change ethics due to a ton of modifiers ( Ethics – Stellaris Wiki (paradoxwikis.com) ). You can boost certain ethic attractions and the chance that pops change their ethis with edicts and more. You can also invest influence to boost a faction (and its ethics) as well as suppress them, but this does not really help a lot.
What imo would be better would be a one time edict/descision like "pay X influence to ban Egalitarism (example). Sets Egalitarian attraction to 0, set ethic change chance for Egalitarian pops to 400%, set Egalitarian pops happiness to 0. Set egalitarian faction approval to 0 %. For each egalitarian pop on a planet stability is reduced by 5." The amount of influence could be anything from a fixed amount to a multiplicative of the number of pops with the banned ethic. (like 5 influence per egalitarian pop)
I think this would be a practical and fun addition to the game and allow a lot more roleplay. With the stability drop there would be a chance of secessions/ civil wars if the banned ethic was too strong. Plus it would cost you production, what reflects the unrest that happens when you tell billions of individuals their mindset is illegal. The effects would start strong but with pops shifting out of the banned ethic they would deteriorate over time and eventually vanish completely (like the faction of this ethic. It will go once it drops under 5 (iirc) pops)
There could also be a lot of events going on while banning an ethic. Like "Egalitarian pop massacred" or "Egalitarians strike back", that kill pops, destroy buildings, add devastation and more. Pops with banned ethics could as well become refugees and flee your empire.
It could also have effects that go beyound your domestic politics. Probably your fanatical egalitarian neighbour wont like to see you banning his primary way of thinking within your borders.
It of course would make sense that possibly some ethics (xenophile/egalitarian) could not make use of this descisions, just like democratic empires.
I think this all would not only improve immersion and roleplay, it would also give you something more to do in the boring middle game, when all borders are set and all you do is techrushing, building megastructures and waiting for the crisis.
Thank you for everyone reading this far. This whole thing is just a topic that drives me mad for years now.
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